Cross country notebook: Runners prep for Saturday's state meet
BY ZAK PATTERSON World Sports Writer
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
10/24/12 at 2:06 AM
The 2012 Class 6A, 5A and 4A state cross country meets take place Saturday at Edmond Santa Fe High School.
The 4A girls open the meet at 10 a.m., while the 6A boys close things out at 2:45 p.m. The remaining schedule: 4A boys, 10:45 a.m.; 5A girls, noon; 5A boys, 12:45 p.m.; 6A girls, 2 p.m.
Norman is the defending boys 6A champion. Union was second in 2011, while Bishop Kelley placed third. Bishop Kelley placed three runners in the top nine at last weekend's 6A regional in Tulsa, while Jenks had six runners in the top 16.
Edmond Memorial and Jenks were the top two 6A girls teams last year. Edmond Deer Creek is the defending 5A boys champ, while Coweta returns to defend its 5A girls title. In Class 4A, Elgin won the 2011 boys championship and Metro Christian won the 4A girls crown.
Coweta strong at regionals: The Tiger boys captured first in last week's 5A regional in Tulsa, while the girls took third.
Coty Fox led the boys, taking third in the 5,000-meter run in 17 minutes and 39 seconds. Kyle Roberts finished ninth at 18:18, and Cole Houchin was 10th at 18:21.
"They have had a triumphant season. They have taken their performance to a new level this year," said Coweta coach Toby Hummingbird. "The boys have battled together for many years in training for a season like this. I am very proud of them on the trails they run and in all aspects of their lives. They represent Coweta very well. These boys are the type of kids who would be an asset to any program they competed in."
The seventh-ranked boys race at state Saturday at Edmond Santa Fe, trying to unseat defending champ Edmond Deer Creek.
Alexis Pennington had the highest finish for the girls at eighth place, running the two-mile in 13:26. Crysta Humphrey was one second behind her, finishing ninth. The No. 4-ranked Tiger girls go for their third straight state title Saturday.
Metro Christian squads take second at regionals: Jim Pile had the top finish among the Class 5A Patriots, finishing second in the 5,000-meter run at 17:22, one second behind Zech VanFleet of Tahlequah.
Mitchell Mayes came in 13th for Metro Christian at 18:29. Kelsey McKee came in third in the two-mile for the girls at 12:51. Madi Duncan was fifth at 13:09.
The Metro Christian girls have won state two years in a row in 4A, and will be the favorite to make it three straight in their first year in 5A on Saturday, while the boys try to capture their second state title in three years.
"We feel very blessed to be able to compete so well in the much-larger 5A class," said Metro Christian coach Matt Pile. "I'm very proud of Jim and Kelsey for their strong individual regional performances and have high hopes for both the boys and girls team performances at state this weekend."
Tahlequah girls win regional; boys third: Jessica Hembree's first-place finish helped the Tiger girls to a narrow 5A regional win over Metro Christian. Hembree won the two-mile run in 12:20. Gracie Medellin came in fourth at 12:58, and Amy Hembree was 10th at 13:27.
"We were happy to get past Metro Christian. They're a solid team," said Tahlequah coach Elsie Miller. "Jessica, Gracie and Amy are all really good competitors and they're running well right now."
Zech Van Fleet edged out a one-second victory over Metro Christian's Jim Pile to win the 5,000-meter, and Mohamed Bassime came in seventh at 18:03.
"We're hoping for a good run from all our guys. I think whoever has the strongest top five will come out on top at state," said Miller.
Senior Jessica Hembree will be going for her third state title in four years for the Tigers. Both squads come in ranked No. 2 in the state.
Lincoln Christian boys win 4A regional: Once again being led by Jordan Masterson, Lincoln Christian won the 4A regional in Tulsa with relative ease. Masterson was fourth at 17:53, Cameron Edman sixth at 18:05, Nathan Grivna 12th at 18:22 and Byrun Ratliff 13th at 18:29.
"We're really excited about where we are," Bulldogs coach Martha O'Rourke said. "The kids are running well. ORU has a tough course. It was a great team effort. Everyone worked together."
Senior Laura Kunz finished second in the two-mile at 12:52.
"Laura continues to improve each week. She works extremely hard on the cross country course and in the classroom," said O'Rourke.
State cross country
Saturday At Edmond Santa Fe HS
10 a.m.: 4A girls
10:45 a.m.: 4A boys
Noon: 5A girls
12:45 p.m.: 5A boys
2 p.m.: 6A girls
2:45 p.m.: 6A boys
Tahlequah senior Jessica Hembree will be trying to win her third state title. PAUL HELLSTERN/The Oklahoman file